As GCC is a local, independent church, we recognise the need for relationships outside our own immediate situation in order to give us a wider perspective and oversight. For GCC this means being part of the LifeLinks family of churches.
The relationship aspect of LifeLinks is particularly strong and means that those involved always have someone to call on in times of difficulty or to celebrate with in times of victory. The basis of the LifeLinks relationship with the local church is voluntary and input is by the desire and invitation of the leaders of GCC.
LifeLinks has an ‘Apostolic Council’, which gives oversight to member churches. The Council has a real knowledge of the churches to which it relates and as such is available to all Partners of GCC, as well as the leaders. There is a safeguard of accountability, as well as personal relationship, established by these foundational relationships. The Council member who is responsible for the relationship with GCC is Steve Chupp of Harvest City Church.
LifeLinks does not recruit member churches and organisations but looks to see God bring together those whom He chooses. There is a strong emphasis on evangelism and most of all there is a desire to encourage people in their own personal relationship with Jesus.
LifeLinks has a Doctrinal Statement that is purposely broad and does not closely address many of the more controversial aspects of Christianity. LifeLinks is committed as a family of churches to move with God and is not limited to past experiences, but always willing to move with God into new territory. Renewal is whatever the Holy Spirit is doing now. Details about the organisation are available on the LifeLinks web site.
GCC is a Fairtrade Church. The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the Fairtrade Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. The Foundation was established in 1992.
Fairtrade’s vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
The Foundation’s mission is to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer organisations in the South and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers and their communities.
We support Tearfund, a Christian relief organisation that focuses on five main areas, considered to be the fundamentals that need to be addressed in the fight against poverty and its sustainable trading subsidiary Tearcraft. The five areas that Tearfund works in are:
- To stop and reverse the impact of HIV in countries where Tearfund works by 2016 by supporting those affected, promoting access to health care and treatment and tackling the stigma so often associated with the disease.
- Working with vulnerable people to prevent, respond to and recover from disasters. Tearfund are experts in helping communities prepare for disasters, as well as being there to respond when they happen, dealing with the practical and emotional trauma they bring.
- Campaigning to challenge and change unjust policies and practices that keep people in poverty and working to ensure fairer trade laws, lobbying for good governance, fighting corruption and empowering communities to stand up for themselves.
- Creating a sustainable environment, which is crucial for poor people dependent on its resources. Tearfund’s programmes include helping communities adapt to climate change, addressing environmental degradation, and tackling water and food shortages.
- Ensuring access to water and sanitation, education and literacy, livelihoods, health and nutrition.
Churches Together in England is a visible sign of the churches' commitment as they seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another, and proclaim the Gospel together by common witness and service. Its strength comes from people from different traditions finding new ways to work and worship together.
Gillingham Community Church is part of Churches Together in Gillingham; more information on the Churches Together website.
GCC is a member of the Evangelical Alliance. The Alliance was founded in 1846 and is the oldest alliance of evangelical Christians in the world. It is also the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. In its formative years the Alliance particularly stood for the victims of religious persecution and enabled evangelicals from different denominations to work together.
As part of a movement ‘uniting to change society’ the Alliance promotes unity and truth, acts as an evangelical voice to the state, society and the wider church, and works collaboratively with Alliance members and other evangelicals, to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation.
The Alliance speaks on behalf of its members and represents evangelical concerns to government, the national assemblies, the media and key decision-makers. In resourcing its members and encouraging Christians to fully engage in their communities as responsible citizens, the Alliance strives to make evangelical truths publicly accessible.
The Alliance has a Basis of Faith that all members must subscribe to. More information is available on the Evangelical Alliance website.